Food adulteration Current Affairs - 2019

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IIT Guwahati: Paper based sensors for faster assessment of milk freshness

The IIT-G on November 13, 2019 has developed paper-based sensor to make assessment of freshness of milk by simple and instantaneous method. The method can be used to check the quality of milk at the point of milk collection ans also in home kitchens.

Concept

The method detects quantity of ALP (Alkaline Phosphate) in the milk to determine its freshness and quality. ALP is a metalloprotein found in raw milk samples. It is an important bio marker in quality control in milk. The ALP compounds are destroyed during pasteurization. Therefore, detecting ALP compounds can help in detecting inadequate pasteurization in milk.

Method

Researches have used a simple filter paper and made the final product highly inexpensive. The team modified the chemical composition of the filter paper by loading it with anti-ALP elements that captures the presence of ALP in the milk.

The paper turns blue-green color if milk contains ALP compounds.

Highlights

  • The method takes 13 minutes to detect ALP compounds
  • Using the paper, the scientists could detect down to 0.87 units of ALP per milliliter of milk
  • The accuracy of the method is 91% to 100%

Significance

India is the largest milk producer in the world. It accounts to 20% of world milk production. Milk production has been constantly growing in India over the years from 55.6 tons in  1992 to 176.3 million tons in 2018.

FSSAI notifies standards for honey and its products to curb adulteration

Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) has notified food safety standards for honey and its products in bid to curb adulteration. These standards will be applicable to both domestic manufacturers and importers. It will help farmers to fetch better prices for their products.

Key Features of new standards

It defines honey as natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from nectar of blossoms or from secretions of plants, which honey bees collect, transform and store in honeycombs for ripening. Honey products should comply with 18 parameters like that of sucrose content, glucose ratio, pollen count, foreign oligosaccharides etc,

These products should contain fixed maximum 5% limit for sucrose, 10% for carviacallosa and honeydew honey. The moisture percentage should be maximum 20% and pollen count should be 25,000 per gram. If product is sold as honey then food ingredient, including food additives should not be added to it.

Honey should not be heated or processed to such extent that its essential composition is changed and its quality is impaired. Honey can be labelled according to floral or plant source, if it comes from any particular source and has organoleptic, physicochemical and microscopic properties corresponding with torigin.

In case of ‘Monofloral Honey’, minimum pollen content of plant species concerned should not be less than 45% of total pollen content. In case of ‘Multi Floral Honey’, pollen content of any of plant species should not exceed 45% of total pollen content.

Background

About 90,000 tonnes of honey of all varieties is produced annually in the country. There are about 30 lakh honey bee colonies and five lakh people are engaged in the business. Government considers promoting farmers to venture into beekeeping business as key component to increase their income. Union Government is promoting honey production through mission for integrated development of horticulture (MIDH). It has established National Bee Board for implementing various activities for development of scientific beekeeping under MIDH.